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Poster: grendelschoice Date: May 3, 2007 2:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Looking for a Jack Straw

Death & Mercy,

Now, you're going to get a LOT of suggestions. hell, you already have. Please believe me when I say I would not even be responding to your request if I did not believe deep down in my bones that the finest, not-too-fast-and-not-too-slow, ripping guitar by Jerry and picture perfect JACK STRAW ever performed is waiting right here at this show (which just happens to be my favorite, as the long-timers on this forum are no doubt only too aware):

10/29/77

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-10-29.sbd.kempa.280.sbeok.shnf

Please do not overlook this JACK STRAW. Listen and you will see. Yes, there are longer JS's (10/20/84)...some are faster-played, and may seem on the surface more intense...but none beats 10/29/77 for the pure balance of timing, execution, and passion.

You will NOT be disappointed, I guarantee.

(and while you're there, you also might want to check out the best Bertha, Might as Well, St. Stephen, and many many more.

i'll stop now before the regulars drag me off with the hooked cane...

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Poster: darazn1 Date: May 3, 2007 9:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Looking for a Jack Straw

Well, after further review, I must revise.

12.30.89 stays. Purely epic. Tuning jam>JS>China>Rider>Est>Terrapin>jam>drumz.... one of the most intense sets of the band's entire career.

12.18.93 is great till Bobby cuts in on Jerry's closing solo. Nonetheless, it's almost surprising that Jerry's playing the best soloing of his life during this era.

12.27.90 is surprisingly entertaining start to fin. Whole band just going for it.

Listening to 10.29.77 right now. That fat juicey late '70's sound. Kinda heavy and dreamy. Closing jam kinda short. Doesn't make my list of the best.

1.7.78 Jerry doesn't sing, so his musicianship comes shining through. Phil is in "lead bass" mode, playing counterpoint to Jerry in very active fashion. Jerry's leads touch on the best aspects of his '72 sound, as well as the best of his late '70's sound. Great performance by the whole band. Found 12.27.90 a little more entertaining, but this is powerful and first rate for sure.

1.8.78 A little quicker than the night before, and the first half isn't quite as hot. The mistakes are more conspicuous and less tension building than the night before. Second half is starting way more punchy, though. Keith is filling in Jerry lines while Jerry traverses a path less traveled. This one definitely starts with a greater punch of confidence. This is the "sparks are flying" version. For my tastes, the 1.7 performance is the superior Straw.

11.6.79 Jerry is noodley in the extreme. Not a bad thing. "We used to play for silver/ Now we play for Clive [Davis of Arista records]." Phil is punching it. Jerry so noodly I'm losing interest. Good interplay between Jerry and Brent here as the band careens upwrds towards a peak. They found a groove.


10.27.79 The band hits a groove, and Jerry stats playing slow, deliberate leads, a bit dreamy, but engaged. Second jam is more noodley, but starts on the quiet side. Jerry abandons the loopy leads and starts alternating between minimalist lines and fast flurry runs. They kinda force the peak once the "Jack Straw from..." line comes in.

11.25.79 This version is getting naturally explosive. The band is really locked in here. Short and sweet.

12.30.89 I gotta hear this again just to confirm its place among the others. Here's the link: http://www.archive.org/details/gd89-12-30sbd.gardner.9754.sbeok.shnf Check out how punchy the intro is. First set opener of this show is incredible as well, with one of the finest Sugarees on record. The drms are pounding with authority. They are peaking during the vocals right up to "not with allllllll, ah!" This is a version with the drummers pushing as hard as they ever did at any time. Jerry's lovin it. Has many appealing aspects, and they drive it home as hard as ever, maybe a bit more, during the final verse. Sets up for an incendiary China>Rider. Rank? Different in spirit, but a bit closer to average-great than I recalled. More conviction out of the rhythm section here, exploding in waves, and Jerry responding like a skilled surfer on uneven waters. As for the China Cat, you know it's gonna be nuts when Jerry lightly growls "crazy cat peeekin...." I can't say enough good things about the intensity of the China Cat jam.

12.27.90 Once again to confirm. The pace is great. The intro warm and enthusiastic. Bruce's contributions are energizing. Vince is mixed well, so he doesn't oversaturate the sound, which is great. The band is cooking. Phil drops bombs during the verses. The band nearly works into a frenzy early on. Bruce singing is great. Drummers are united. Jerry forgets some words, singing the first verse twice. Jerry's solo is sick, every phrase building on that which came before, peaking higher and high. Whole band is united and "in on it." The closing vocals come in at the perfect time, when Jerry's statement is definite and complete. I gotta stand by my feeling that this is one of the definitive Jack Straws. Goes by really fast, but everything you could want from a great Jack Straw is here. http://www.archive.org/details/gd90-12-27.set1-akg-set2-sbd.miller.21928.sbeok.shnf Check it out.